Looking for Tommy Ruff fish bar in Mordialloc? It’s not where you remember. In fact, the guys have opened a new flagship store on the main street, a few doors down from the old spot. It’s bigger, fishier and contains 13% more crab. Nice.
Owners John and Helen Stamoulis will be turning the old site into something else (they’re pretty hush hush on the new project, so watch this space), but in the meantime, they’re slinging fish wings and giant seafood platters at the new addy: 564 Main St.
If you’ve been to Tommy Ruff’s Windsor or Elsternwick stores, you’ll be familiar with the style. Studio Equator handled the fit-out again, and they’re sticking with the nautical-coastal theme. The new restaurant is decked out in white-washed brick, big chunky timber beams, high ceilings, hanging lanterns and oceanic turquoise curves. Byron Bay graffiti artist Tarek Dem added some sick murals down the back. It’s Melbourne bayside chic, circa 2018.
The menu hasn’t changed much. You can still get Tommy’s take on fish n’ chips (seasoned with Southern-style spices, fried to a crisp, and served with tangy slaw) or there’s an ocean’s worth of seafood to choose from. Pickled baby calamari, crispy school prawns you eat by the handful, grilled Barra with Moroccan salad, popping with pomegranates, even a paddle crab seafood hot pot. If it swims, it’s on the menu.
Tommy Ruff is trying to upgrade your fish ‘n chip expectations. For one thing, they want you to dine in. That’s why there's 19 wines on the menu, including some top drops from McLaren Vale, Marlborough, Abruzzo and central Spain. The beer is there to enhance your seafood—nothing too dark, lots of draught, pale ale, Kolsch and German wheat beer. Cider fiends should try the dedicated cider menu (stick with ‘Skull and Bones’ apple—passionfruit cider is a crime against nature).
Mordi locals, drop a line and give this place a crack. You might be surprised by what you catch.
Image credit: Tommy Ruff